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  1. #1
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    Default moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

    Hello,

    First, thank you to all the contributors to these forums. I learn a lot by reading your posts.

    I am starting a Warre hive this year just for fun. I had already ordered a 5 frame Lang nuc when I made the decision, so now I am thinking about how to transfer the nuc. I may convert an available 10 frame Lang deep into a five frame nuc by adding some inner walls and then creating a top with a large cutout that would allow me to place the Warre boxes above and let the bees work up into them over the season. I’ll remove the nuc box some time in the summer. Has anyone tried this? Other suggestions to fitting a square peg in a round hole?

    By way of background, I am a hobbyist beekeeper and am blessed with a little free time, so I don’t mind a little effort or doing it slowly.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    4,861

    Default Re: moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

    [QUOTE=WhistleStopHoney;625783]Other suggestions to fitting a square peg in a round hole?/QUOTE]

    Buy a package of bees instead. Or contact your local bee club and try to arrange for a swarm from a member's hive.
    One of the Warre principles is for the bees to work down, so you would be sacra-religious to put the Warre box above a nuc. Plus the bees might be reluctant to move up through the empty space to the top bars.

    This same question was asked recently by a top barer who had ordered a nuc, and most agreed that a package was a better solution.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Richmond, Virginia, USA
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    227

    Default Re: moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

    Hey Whistle, I was thinking the same thing. Local bees come in Nucs. Don't want inbred commercial bees. Some sort of an universal adapter between the hives. Odd Frank is probably right, below is might be better. I'll draw it up.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

    [QUOTE=odfrank;625801]
    Quote Originally Posted by WhistleStopHoney View Post
    Other suggestions to fitting a square peg in a round hole?/QUOTE]

    Buy a package of bees instead.
    Odfrank,

    Thanks for your reply. I agree a package would make more sense, but I already crossed that bridge, so to speak, and like Zonker who posts below, I would love to be able to get a local nuc as needed.

    I had thought about the "working down" philosophy versus up. It puzzles me, as I was taught to flip my Lang hive bodies in the spring so that the empty bottom box ended up on top in order to reduce swarming. I guess I still think of the bees going up. It's amazing these two management approaches could be so different on this point. However, I may be missing something.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

    Quote Originally Posted by Zonker View Post
    I'll draw it up.
    Zonker,

    That would be great. I asked one Warre hive producer. He said they used to sell an adapter but it was not very successful, so they discontinued it. I have an inquiry in as to the design. I'll post it here once I get it. I am game to experiment.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2010
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    Richmond, Virginia, USA
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    Default Re: moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

    ok, so I feel a little stupid having to draw it to figure out that its just a board with a hole in it, but .... here it is. (I added little blocks to keep it in place in order to make myself feel less dense)
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Zonker; 03-06-2011 at 02:12 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,933

    Default Re: moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

    That board is about as good of an adapter that you could get. The bees will actually work up, faster, but as odfrank said, going up into an empty box will be an issue. If you try to make them go down, into the Warré box below, that's going to be a long drawn out process also.

    What's happening to the frames from the nuc? If you won't be using them again, cut them down so they can fit into the Warré box and just transfer the whole thing straight into the Warré. It would mean discarding the end bits of comb, but they'll just have to be sacrificed.

    As you add new Warré boxes under your first one as your hive gets bigger, you will eventually end up with the top box full of honey and you will remove it. At that time you can get rid of the old langstroth combs you put in it to transfer in the nuc.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #8
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    Mar 2011
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    Essex County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

    Zonker,

    Nice picture! I like the blocks in case of high winds. This design would sure be easy. I might place two following boards on either side of the five frames below so I could remove the nuc frames as the ladies move up. I think o could make them easily with the top bar of a lang frame with thin plywood or some plastic board attached below.

    Odfrank and Oldtimer, do you think feeding them from above would overcome the issue of getting the bees to move upstairs?

  9. #9
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Re: moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

    Here is an alternative concept, but admittedly more work. Perhaps the odds are better if the bees work horizontally. I could place an “L” shaped insert in either back corner of the hive body. It would extend half way across the hive body, leaving room for five frames next to it. It would extend forward far enough to support the ends of five Warre topbars, which would be supported by the front of the Lang box on the other end. Hopefully the bees would work across and build out comb on the topbars.
    I would then place a Warre box on top, supported on two sides by the Lang box and on one side by half of the “L” insert. I would place bars in it as well, then the feeder and, of course, the top. As the bees start to build across the topbars on the same level with the nuc frames, I would swap them for the ones above. I’d also have a following board so I could remove the nuc frames as the ladies move up and save those combs for something.
    Here is a picture. It is attached as well. Please excuse the drawing as I don’t have Zonker’s skill. If this doesn’t work, I might try rent control.
    [IMG]Warre-Lang adaptor.pdf[/IMG]

  10. #10
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    Default Re: moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

    Sorry i don't know how to place the image in the post yet. please see attached PDF Thanks

  11. #11
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    Essex County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

    Another attempt to load the image
    Attachment 81

  12. #12
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

    Your idea as per post 9 should work also. Getting complex, but there's probably no easy way.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
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    1,019

    Default Re: moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

    Since the whole idea of a Warre hive is that the bees work their way DOWN the stack, I fail to see why you are even considering making them work UP into a Warre box.

    If you just put an empty box over your bees, with no foundation, the most likely thing they will do is to make free-form honeycomb sculptures all over the tops of your frames. Believe me, this is NOT what you want!

    I have successfully migrated a colony downwards into a Warre box from a nuc, using a simple mask to adjust for different box sizes. It is wasy, logical and you get a nuc box full of honey in payment.

    Last edited by buckbee; 03-06-2011 at 11:26 AM. Reason: add pic
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  14. #14
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Re: moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

    Thanks to all. Very helpful. I'll post back what happens

  15. #15
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    Mar 2010
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    Richmond, Virginia, USA
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    Default Re: moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

    corrected and updated my adapter (board) drawing

  16. #16
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    Default Re: moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

    Zonker,

    I like the simplicity of your new drawing. Since I don't own a nuc box, I might just make the board bigger and set my lang hive body on top. I just need to fill in the space on either side of the 5 frames so they don't build wax there.

  17. #17
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    Richmond, Virginia, USA
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    Default Re: moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

    Never occurred to me that it would be so simple. I ordered a package because I couldn't figure out how to get the bees into a warre any other way, but now ... It even fits my TBH's. Can't wait for warm weather.

  18. #18
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    Essex County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

    I hear you. Not getting any office work done.

    I think I am going the route of your last drawing. Matches my carpentry skills.

    For a needlessly complex but fun project, I might, at some future date, build a stretch hive body long enough to accommodate two rows of five top bars on one side and five lang frames on the other. This might be a great way to create nucs for Warre or topbar

  19. #19
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    Mar 2011
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    Essex County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

    I just heard back from the maker of the Warre hive that I am getting. He used to sell an adapter just like the one Zonker posted and I was set to try. Interestingly, he found that the bees would only move down from the nuc to the Warre box about half of the time.

    Being a good businessman, he discontinued the product. His theory is that the bees don't like to move from one shape to another. Whether the theory is correct or not, he knows from multiple attempts that it only works about half of the time.

    Soooo, back to the drawing board. I may need to go the sacrilegious route and get the bees to move up.

    Let me say that the no-brainer is to cancel the nuc and get a package, but I am just intrigued with the challenge at this point. The bees behavior is just fascinating to me. They build nests in walls and other crazy cavities. Why would they care about this?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Brainerd, MN
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    533

    Default Re: moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

    The key is to just get the queen out of the nuc. The rest of the bees can stay with the hatching brood, but you need the queen to move. I have read in a different forum about transferring a nuc to a TBH. A member there suggested finding the queen, catching her, cropping the frames to fit the new hive, transfer frame with new queen down with another frame of brood. Bam, brood nest moved. Might be a little harder to crop a frame to warre though.

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